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Lake Erie & Western New York Fishing Hotline

October 22 to October 29, 2021

Lake Erie, Harbors and Tributaries

Yellow perch fishing remains strong out of Cattaraugus Creek and at spots withing 5 miles to the east or west. Anglers are catching yellow perch anywhere between 50 and 80 feet of water, with most consistent catches coming between 55-65 feet of water. Limit catches are possible. Live golden and emerald shiners, and salted emerald shiners have worked well fished at the bottom. In some spots, yellow perch suspended about 5 feet off the bottom have been more aggressive. Daytime walleye are still available off the Catt in 55-80 feet of water, and around the Buffalo Harbor breakwalls at night.

Waders were previously seeing decent to good steelhead action on Cattaraugus Creek. The smaller Lake Erie tributaries were producing some decent fish too, but action was spottier. With cooling temperatures and two runoff events in the past week, all reaches of all tributaries should be options now. At report time, Cattaraugus Creek was high and muddy. Some of the smaller Chautauqua County streams are in fishable shape today. The Erie County streams are a bit high at present, but could be options this weekend. For those new to steelhead fishing, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Erie Tributaries page.

Niagara River

Fall is traditionally a top time to target muskellunge around the upper Niagara River. Target musky by casting large stickbaits or by drifting and jigging large tube jigs (8"-10"). Trolling around the outer Buffalo Harbor breakwall gaps can produce a musky catch as well.

Lower Niagara River king salmon fishing has slowed and the better fishing is seemingly behind us. Anglers are starting to catch some steelhead and incidental lake trout. Be aware lake trout season is closed on the lower river until December 1st. Incidentally caught lake trout should be promptly released. When steelhead show in earnest, they are typically available in good numbers for boaters in the Devils Hole and Artpark drifts, and at the NYPA fishing platform and Artpark, Devils Hole and Whirlpool State Parks for shore anglers. Controlled drifting with bottom bouncing rigs with egg sacs or trout beads works well for boaters. Good offerings for shore anglers include egg sacs, trout beads, egg flies, shiners or jigs fished under a float and casted spoons and spinners. For fishing access maps and lower river fishing information see the Fishing the Lower Niagara River page.

Lake Ontario Tributaries, Harbors & Piers

With recent rains and dropping temperatures, anglers have plenty of options on the Lake Ontario tributaries. There are decent numbers of king salmon holding below the dams on Eighteenmile and Oak Orchard Creeks. Fair numbers of brown trout and some steelhead are showing as well. There is a scattered mix of trout and salmon in Johnson and Sandy Creeks. Smaller streams like Twelvemile, East Branch Twelvemile and Keg Creeks are running at higher than normal levels for early season, which has some fish moving up. For those new to tributary salmon fishing see the Pacific Salmon Fishing in Lake Ontario page.

NYPA and Canal Corporation Fall Fishing Program: For an enhanced angling experience and a longer season of sustained flows this fall, the New York State Canal Corporation will soon commence water releases from the Erie Canal into Lake Ontario Tributaries in western New York, including Eighteenmile, Oak Orchard and Sandy Creeks. For more information and a tentative water release schedule visit the New York State Canal Corporation's website. (Link leaves DEC's website) Releases are subject to change, so check back often.

Chautauqua Lake

The open-lake season is winding down, but good fishing prospects remain. Walleye are still available along weedlines. Vertical jigging around the rims of the deeper holes is another late season walleye tactic. Muskellunge fishing has been picking up. Target feeding musky along weed edges by casting large stickbaits or musky spinners. Visit the Chautauqua Lake page for more fishing information.

Surplus Broodstock Trout Stocking

DEC Randolph Fish Hatchery conducted their fall stocking of broodstock trout between September 28 and October 13. The following waters were stocked. Ischua Creek received 480 brown trout (21" - 28"); Red House Lake received 200 brown trout (21") and 120 rainbow trout (28"); Quaker Lake received 200 brown trout (24" - 28"), 1,000 brown trout (14") and 300 rainbow trout (14" - 28"); Case Lake received 120 brook trout (18") and 100 rainbow trout (21"); Harwood Lake received 100 brown trout (24") and 150 rainbow trout (21"); Allen Lake received 200 brook trout (14") and 150 rainbow trout (21"). Call the Randolph Hatchery Stocking Hotline at (716) 358-2050 for updates.

Inland Trout Streams

Anglers now have expanded trout fishing opportunities under the new trout stream regulations effective April 2021. All inland trout streams are now open October 16 to March 31 by catch and release only, artificial lures only. Early fall is a great time to fish the inland streams as trout are on the feed and angling pressure is light. At report time most of the regional streams are running high and stained. Smaller and spring-fed streams are best bets for fishable conditions this weekend. For information, review the Trout Stream Regulation Press Release, which includes links to the Trout Stream Management Plan, the new Trout Stream Fishing Map and the new Regulation Guide. Check out the Fishing for Stream Trout page for introductory information on trout baits, lures, equipment and techniques.

If you need more fishing information or would like to contribute to the fishing report, please call or e-mail Mike Todd (716-851-7010; fwfish9@dec.ny.gov). Good Luck Fishing!